Discover Brigham – Sleep and Your Health

July 24, 2015 Brigham and Women's Hospital

Discover Brigham will highlight cutting-edge biomedical research at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

On October 7, 2015, the public is invited to Discover Brigham, an event that will highlight the cutting-edge biomedical research of more than 1,300 physician-investigators and renowned biomedical scientists and 1,700 physicians at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Topics include advances in sleep medicine, trauma care, surgery, and more. Today’s blog post previews the Sleep Medicine Session.

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have made several important discoveries about sleep and its impact on health. The session on sleep medicine will feature Charles Czeisler, MD,PhD, Chief, Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders,  Susan Redline, MD, MPH, Associate Clinical Director of the Sleep Disorders Service, and Frank Scheer, PhD, MSc. Director of the Medical Chronobiology Program.  These sleep experts will address a variety of topics, including circadian metabolic disorders, sleep apnea, public health concerns, patient-centered outcomes, and more. Below is a sampling of their research findings.

Dr. Charles Czeisler: Recent research conducted by Dr. Czeisler and colleagues suggests that the use of light-emitting electronic devices – tablets, some e-readers, smart phones, and laptops – in the hours before bedtime can negatively impact overall health, alertness, and the circadian clock, which synchronizes the daily rhythm of sleep to external environmental cues. “Since more people are choosing electronic devices for reading, communication, and entertainment, particularly children and adolescents who already experience significant sleep loss, research evaluating the long-term consequences of these devices on health and safety is urgently needed,” says Dr. Czeisler. Read about the impact of light-emitting devices on sleep.

Dr. Susan Redline: Research indicates that sleep apnea is associated with an increased risk of stroke, heart failure, coronary artery disease, and diabetes. Dr. Redline is studying the impact of genetics and  the environment on the development of sleep apnea. She also is leading a new research initiative called MyApnea.org , a national network of patients, health care providers, and researchers who  are working together to find new answers to diagnosing and treating sleep apnea. Watch a video with Dr. Redline discussing sleep apnea.

Frank Scheer, PhD, MSc: Scheer studies how the body’s biologic processes change over the course of the day and how this may influence our susceptibility to disease. He has found that disruptions in our circadian rhythms have adverse effects on our metabolism, blood pressure, and hormone production. These disruptions can increase the risk for weight gain and diabetes. Recently, he collaborated with researchers from the University of Murcia (Spain) and Tufts University to study the impact of meal timing on weight loss. Learn how the timing of meals impacts weight loss.

Learn more or register for Discover Brigham.

- Jamie R. 
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